Dealing with People That Don't Understand Plurality
This topic is, well, an interesting one to say the least. So far I've had a few instances of having to explain this, so I'll be brief about it. I've had to explain being Plural to my mother, my therapist, one of my friend groups, and somewhat to my ex. To start off, my mother.
She took it quite well, surprisingly. She's very supportive of us and tries her best to understand what we're talking about, although she never fully does, she tries and that's what matters. She's talked with one of my headmates, although it was over text, she still regarded them as separate from myself. She's a very understanding person and always supports me, so I'm glad she's able to at least somewhat understand this.
My therapist was, a little more complicated. He didn't understand it nearly as well as my mother, but, he wasn't quick to jump to conclusions. He said it himself, “I don't label something as a disorder unless it's a hindrance to my patient's life in some way.” Because of this he was perfectly fine with me not calling it DID or MPD, and even wanted to learn more about my specific system itself, and the idea of calling it “plural”. We're happy with how well he reacted, compared to my previous therapist, who almost immediately asked if we needed medication for it, which sent most of us into a panic. After that, whenever he asked a question about it I did my best to change the subject as fast as possible.
My friend group was, a bit of an accident. I had completely forgotten that I never told them, nor did I plan on doing so, and mentioned it in a conversation about death and afterlife. I think I said something along the lines of “I wonder if we'll split when our body dies.” Anyway, they were confused, and when I made my usual quick explanation, they were all very curious and, for the most part, not purposefully hurtful. Keyword being purposefully. One of them asked for me to donate my brain to science, one of them kept referring to my headmates as “Schizo friends”, and the others were absent at the time, but I get the feeling they had similar thoughts. It was quite stressful, and by the time it was over, I was in a sweat, and had to leave my computer for a while. I don't talk about it near them anymore, just to avoid any of it happening again, and I try to make sure any new headmates know to either avoid them or try to act like me, just in case.
The last one I'll talk about here is, my ex, which is still a very, touchy subject, but I have to get it out somehow, otherwise I'll never move on, right? Anyway, it was very brief, to say the least. When I found out about being a system, it was just about a week before our, very messy breakup. I won't go into detail but it was due to a lack of clear communication that we had such a messy breakup in the first place, and both of us could've done things differently that would've been much better choices. After the breakup I was feeling, quite skeptical of myself. I was constantly questioning whether I was faking, or if I was just going insane, I was just a mess overall for weeks. She said to me that she didn't care about me being a system, which, I still don't know how to take, whether she meant she didn't care at all or didn't think it was legitimate, I don't know. I can't find out now anyway because we're completely cut off from each other, after she yelled at me for asking a question that I thought was simple, I decided we needed time away from each other.
Anyway, in conclusion, I handle things on a case by case basis, as should you if you're a plural system. It always depends on how well they understand it, and how respectful they're being about it. If you have questions, or if you're in a similar situation and need advice, I can be reached on Mastodon, or you can send an email to email@example.com. Thank you for reading, and I wish you a happy holiday season!